Find Time to Clean (With Kids Around!)

Summer Survival Guide

cleaning with toddlers

Photo by cafemama

The kids may be out of the house more in summer, but that doesn't mean it won't get just as dirty. Just think of all that lovely dirt and sand they'll track in!

Caroline78, mom of a 3 year old and a baby, has given up trying to find time to clean her house the way she'd like. So she's been devising creative ways for her son to "help" her.

Okay, so she's really getting him to leave her alone so she can clean for real. But it's working! She ...

  • Takes the house plants outside and gives her son a squirt bottle to water them.
  • Folds the laundry, then asks him to put his socks and underwear in his dump truck and take them to his room to put them in his drawers.
  • Sweeps the floor, then he is in charge of sweeping the pile up in the dust pan (then it's her turn again). 

She once thought it would be a good idea to play "basketball" with his toys and toy box, but he kept missing the target and getting mad. Then all he wanted to do was throw his toys -- not a good solution.

Other Toddler Moms contributed to the thread with their ideas:

  • We play a bubble game when I am doing dishes. The kids have a play kitchen on the screened in porch.  They bring in their dishes and I fill them with just suds and give them a rag. They love to clean their kitchen! And suds don't leave a mess where they play.
  • I put them in their bathing suits and give them a large bucket of soapy water and sponges and they wash the kitchen table, the front of the refrigerator, and the stove. Then I pull out the mop and let them take turns mopping.They get all wet, have a blast, and the kitchen gets clean!
  • My son just turned 2 and helps me put the silverware back in the drawer (I take out all the knives first). Matching is a big thing for him now. It gives me time to load the dishwasher without his hands in the way. He also puts away any unbreakable dishes that go in the bottom cabinets. Oh, and while I am making dinner, it is his job to set the silverware out at the table.

Check out these fun ideas for getting your bigger kids to help you clean the house.

What are your fun and creative ideas for getting toddlers to help you clean your home?

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